Have you lost a loved one after an accident on a construction site? Fatalities on construction sites usually result from falls, electrocution, getting struck by an object, or being caught in between surfaces. Whichever the cause of the accident, it's crucial for the survivors to file a wrongful death lawsuit and seek damages from the liable party. However, like any other personal injury case, winning a wrongful death suit or claim can be challenging. Below are the basics you need to establish before filing the lawsuit.
Determine the Defendant's Duty of Care
When suing a party for wrongful death, you have to prove their duty of care. For example, in this case, the managing contractor is tasked with the responsibility of creating a safe environment for construction workers. They should provide PPEs, oversee equipment inspection, set up safety signage across the site, and even evaluate weather conditions to eliminate risk. In the U.S, OSHA has laid out construction safety guidelines that workers should follow to prevent fatalities. You have to show that the defendant had a legal duty to protect your loved one from harm.
Find Evidence of Negligence
Once you've determined the defendant's duty of care, you need to find evidence of negligence. Did the contractor's negligent actions cause your loved one to get hurt? For example, the contractor could have failed to inspect harnesses, and this could have led to a fall accident. Also, they could have slacked on equipment safety, causing fatal accidents during operation. A wrongful death attorney can help you gather evidence and witness statements testifying to the negligence.
Provide Proof of Causation
Police reports, medical records, and post-mortem results can be used to show the cause of death of the victim. In instances where the defendant denies causation, your wrongful death attorney can compile further evidence. For example, the defendant's legal team may claim that injuries became severe as a result of underlying medical conditions. In this case, you can hire a medical expert to testify to a connection between the accident injuries and the unfortunate death of your loved one.
Determine the Damages and Settlement Amount
When filing a wrongful death claim or suit, you can claim various types of damages depending on the age, marital status, and responsibilities of the victim. Some of the damages include the following:
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Spousal companionship and support
- Lost future inheritance
- Litigation costs
The settlement amount is the total of the financial losses of all the dependants of the deceased.
Losing a loved one to a construction accident can be painful and difficult. Talk to a wrongful death attorney who can help you get substantial compensation for the loss of your loved one.